When we think about diseases in Africa we think about the biggest of them – malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and pneumonia. We forget about the neglected tropical diseases that debilitate so many in sub-Saharan Africa and southeast Asia from intestinal worms to elephantiasis. These diseases are real and they are easily prevented, but as their name suggests, these diseases are nearly neglected. In fact, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Luis G Sambo, called for increased funding last month to eradicate and control neglected tropical diseases by 2020 in Africa.
There has been notable progress is controlling neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). For example, all sub-Saharan countries save for Chad, Mali, Sudan and Ethiopia, have eradicated guinea worm. However there is still much work to do in order to wipe out the seven most common neglected tropical diseases.
The international NGO, End 7, is committed to seeing an end to neglected tropical diseases by 2020, but they need the help of the global public. A mere $.50 can protect one person for a full year from the seven most common NTDs. End7 has put together this telling video that shows the real face of neglected tropical disease. A young girl hasn’t grown properly and is perpetually legargic because of intestinal worms and her grandmother can no longer work because of elephantiasis.
Neglected tropical diseases keep the world’s poorest people in a constant cycle of poverty. These diseases – caused mainly by insects and parasites – keep productivity low. Sometimes entire communities are stricken by one or more of these diseases because they do not understand measure by which these diseases can be prevented and/or do not have the proper medications to keep these diseases at bay.
Visit End7.org to learn more and to take action.
When living in tropical and subtropical regions of the world people are susceptible to all manner of diseases from malaria to hookworm. One of the seven most common neglected tropical diseases is elephantiasis, or lymphatic filariasis. To the lay person it is simply called “big foot”.
Elephantiasis is caused by female mosquitos biting on its victims and releasing larvae into one’s skin. Those larvae grow to become millions of micro threadlike worms and invade the lymphatic system of those who have been infected. The worms can live in humans for up to six years. Hard, bulbous, inflamed skin grows in the lower extremities including feet, legs, and genitals.
Can Elephantiasis Be Treated?
While there is no cure to elephantiasis it can be treated and prevented. A single dose of ivermectin and albendazole can treat elephantiasis.
In fact, you can give as little as $12 to our partner End 7 through Global Giving to protect 100 working adults from getting infected with lymphatic filariasis and five other neglected tropical diseases or give $30 to treat 250 children infected with lymphatic filariasis. $12 is all it takes to change a person’s life.
Photo Via our Partner End 7’s Facebook page.
We are extremely happy to partner with an extremely important campaign initiative, End7, that will help save children from seven of the most debilitating and deadly tropical diseases on the planet.
End7 is on a mission to see the end of 7 Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) by 2020. And they want you to be part of it. 1 in 6 people worldwide, including over half a billion children, have these parasitic and bacterial diseases living and breeding in their bodies. These diseases are tied to nearly every major global health issue we face today- water, sanitation, HIV/AIDS, malaria, malnutrition, maternal/child health, to name a few – and impact many socio-economic issues. As a group, NTDs impose a greater health burden than malaria and tuberculosis, and rival that of HIV/AIDS. Schistosomiasis, one of the seven leading NTDs, alone causes nearly 300,000 fatalities each year, making it the second leading parasitic killer in the world after malaria.
The great news is they have the solution. And it’s simple. All it takes is a packet of pills and all it costs is 50¢ to treat and protect one child for one year. All they need now is your support so they can increase awareness, raise donations and encourage world leaders to make the elimination of these diseases an important part of their policy agendas.
Photo: UN Photo/Martine Perret